MOST IMPORTANT FALL READ: Unpregnant Review

Summary:

x510Brown University bound Veronica Clarke is the type of person who plans everything, from finals cram sessions with her best friends to a romantic weekend with her boyfriend. What she didn’t plan are the two solid pink lines on a pregnancy test. After her boyfriend reveals that he messed with their protection in order to preserve their relationship, Veronica has to make a decision she never imagined she’d have to make: to get or not to get an abortion. Too embarrassed to reveal her plans to her friends and family, she soon finds herself on a fourteen-hour car ride with the black sheep of Jefferson High, her ex-best friend, Bailey, to New Mexico. Chaos and absolute hilarity is in store for Veronica and Bailey while confronting their friendship and the truth about themselves.

 My Rating: 5/5 Stars 

My Thoughts:

In their acknowledgements, Jenni Hendriks and Ted Caplan write that they often told people that they were writing a funny story about abortion. In this reader’s opinion? They absolutely completely nailed their concept with Unpregnant, a book about one girl’s right to choose and so much in store.

Unpregnant follows high school senior Veronica, who finds out she is pregnant, likely thanks to the fact that her boyfriend poked holes in their condoms in hopes that Veronica would get pregnant and stay home instead of going away to college. Since she needs parents’ consent in Missouri to get an abortion, Veronica’s closest option is in New Mexico. With no car and too afraid to tell her friends or family, Veronica entrusts her ex-best friend Bailey to make the journey with her.

Unpregnant is the type of the book that is perfect for reading in one sitting because you won’t want to part from it for too long. This book is fairly short and fast-paced, as Bailey finds Veronica taking a pregnancy test in their high school bathroom right from the get-go. Bailey was for sure my favorite character. Although rough around the edges, she has such a good heart and so many amazing one-liners (not to mention an indisputable love for Kelly Clarkson and her absolute hatred for Veronica’s boyfriend).

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CONTEMPORARY ROUNDUP: August 2019 Mini Reviews

August was filled with all the contemporary books (as per usual for this book nerd), focusing on a mix of new books, backlist titles, and upcoming 2019 releases.

Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker

My Rating: 3.5/5

download (2)After loving K.A. Tucker’s The Simple Wild back in May, I immediately put her August 2019 release, Say You Still Love Me, on my TBR. Twenty-nine year old Piper works as a VP at her family’s multibillion-dollar release estate development firm, constantly proving her worth in a male-dominated workplace and contending with her ex-finance, another VP. Things at work become crazier for Piper when she runs into her first love from summer camp, Kyle, who apparently doesn’t even remember her name or why he never contacted her again after camp ended.

Say You Still Love Me flips between Piper’s present and her past as a summer camp counselor with Kyle. While I enjoyed this one, I wouldn’t say it brought anything new to the table. Unexpectedly running into your first love after years apart seems to be an increasingly popular trope in the new adult romance world. It’s really not my cup as a reader. I also didn’t see the chemistry between Kyle and Piper both when they were at camp and when they first reunite in the present. The summer camp provided a fun atmosphere to the story, but I was more invested in Piper’s friendships and her day-to-day over the romance. Like The Simple Wild, my favorite parts of Say You Still Love Me were the family dynamics and Piper’s career. Piper has to deal with the pressure and expectations that come with one day taking over the family business (that is if her father ever retires), while coming to terms with the secrets her parents have hidden from her since working at the summer camp. Despite the pressure, she still dominates the workplace. Through Piper, K.A. Tucker packs in great female empowerment.

You’d Be Mine by Erin Hanh

My Rating: 4/5

36146624Erin Hanh’s You’d Be Mine was on my “I have to absolutely read this book in 2019” TBR. You’d Be Mine follows country musicians Clay Coolidge and Annie Mathers on their US summer tour. Despite its seemingly fun setting, You’d Be Mine is the darkest YA contemporary I have read in a while. Both characters deal with the loss of loved ones, as well as drug and alcohol addiction. Clay struggles with drinking after losing someone close to him, while Annie grown up around drugs and alcohol and has lost both of her superstar parents to suicide. Even though its less than 300 pages, it took me some time to adjust to You’d Be Mine. The dual perspective is an ever-present narrative in YA books,. While having both Clay and Annie’s perspectives allows us to get to know both of them, I found myself more invested in Annie’s storyline because she was simply more like-able than Clay.

When it comes to my reading tastes, I have come to the conclusion that I am not the biggest fan of music YA. I don’t mind music-centered stories, but I don’t find myself connecting to them as much as other reader. I find myself skimming, if not completely over, the songs. However, I did want to read You’d Be Mine because I am a country music fan. I really enjoyed the real-life references to country music, such as the CMT Awards and Johnny Cash and June Carter. I liked Annie and Clay’s chemistry together on stage, but I definitely enjoyed their time out of the spotlight more. I recommend You’d Be Mine for fans of Emery Lord’s Open Road Summer, but with the expectation that this book deals with  darker themes similar to Taylor Jenkin Reid’s Daisy Jones and the Six.

Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

33275690If you’ve been following my TBR posts, you’ll know that I was both excited and intimidated to read Emma Mills’ Foolish Hearts. This was the last published book of hers I still had to read. Part of my holding off was due to my need to save books by my go-to contemporary authors for mood reads, part also that I was nervous I wouldn’t enjoy this one like so many others. Foolish Hearts is definitely the most loved Emma Mills book, and I’m happy to report that it is now my new favorite book of hers. The book follows Claudia’s happenings after she overhears her school’s it-couple break up at a party. She is forced to work on her school production of Much Ado About Nothing with one of that couple, Iris, along with a very cute and very goofy guy.

I always enjoy reading Emma Mills’ books because of the dialogue and the great relationship dynamics. Her characters and friendships just feel so real. Claudia’s sarcasm and humor is quite similar to my own, which made for an even more relatable read. While she may not believe she is the most confident, she is unafraid to be herself around the tough Iris and the cutie and crush that is Gideon. She’s probably my favorite Emma Mills’ protagonist. From boy bands to online gaming, I really enjoyed the nods to various fandoms. There’s just so much to explore, from friendship to family to romance to class differences. I’ve found that not a lot happens plot wise in Emma Mills’ books, but they make for such great quiet reads. By the end, Claudia really grows as a character in the way she thinks about herself and the relationships she develops with her old and new friends.

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CALLING ALL PRINCESS DIARIES FANS: American Royals Review

Summary (from the publisher):

When America won the Revolutionary War, its people offered General George Washington a crown. Two and a half centuries later, the House of Washington still sits on the throne. Like most royal families, the Washingtons have an heir and a spare. A future monarch and a backup battery. Each child knows exactly what is expected of them. But these aren’t just any royals. They’re American. And their country was born of rebellion.81qTLTauYbL
As Princess Beatrice gets closer to becoming America’s first queen regnant, the duty she has embraced her entire life suddenly feels stifling. Nobody cares about the spare except when she’s breaking the rules, so Princess Samantha doesn’t care much about anything, either . . . except the one boy who is distinctly off-limits to her. And then there’s Samantha’s twin, Prince Jefferson. If he’d been born a generation earlier, he would have stood first in line for the throne, but the new laws of succession make him third. Most of America adores their devastatingly handsome prince . . . but two very different girls are vying to capture his heart.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

Not only have I found my favorite royal fiction book, but I have found one of my favorite books of 2019: Katharine McGee’s American Royals!

American Royals takes place in a world where the United States became a monarchy instead of democracy, with George Washington as the first king. Present-day, twenty-one year old Beatrice is not only in line for the throne, but she’s set to become the first Queen of America. There’s a ton of pressure on Beatrice because of this, not to mention the pressure of having the perfect king-consort. Yes, this is where The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement vibes come in, as Beatrice is expected to marry an acceptable man when she becomes Queen. There’s no political pressure on Beatrice’s younger twin siblings, Jefferson and Sam, but there’s plenty of stress in their love lives. Sam finds herself falling for the one guy she can’t have, while two very different girls, including Sam’s best friend, Nina, have captured Jeff’s heart.

American Royals is perfect for fans of The Princess Diaries and YA and NA fiction. There isn’t a heavy emphasis on the politics, but it was so interesting diving into the world of America as a monarchy. Katharine McGee definitely did a ton of research to pull this off, and I loved her unique spin. Like many readers at the moment, I am a sucker for anything royal. Can I have the Queen’s wardrobe please? If not, catch me finding a reason to buy myself a royal-worthy ball gown.

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BOOKS, NETFLIX, & LOVER: August 2019 Wrap Up

The end of August means the end of two of my favorite things: summer and summer reading. As much as I love this season, including all of the reading time, I am really happy to be back at school and get back into my (hectic) routine. I’m content with the amount of books I read this month, considering that I really didn’t read as much as I had been earlier in the summer, in light of the start of school 

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A Match Made in Mehindi by Nandini Bajpai (ARC) | 3.5/5 Stars

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake | 4.5/5

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American Royals by Katharine McGee (ARC) | 5/5

I’ll Be There For You: The One About Friends by Kelsey Miller | 5/5

Throw Like a Girl by Sarah Henning (ARC) | 4/5

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